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What is Olympic Weightlifting?

Olympic weightlifting is a sport that involves lifting weights in two movements: the snatch and the clean and jerk. The aim is to lift the heaviest weight possible in each movement. The sport is governed by the International Weightlifting Federation and is contested at the Summer Olympics.

How To Start Olympic Weightlifting?

Here’s a simple guide to starting Olympic weightlifting:

  1. Learn the technique: Acquire a basic understanding of the two lifts (snatch and clean and jerk) and learn proper form and technique through watching videos, attending a class or working with a coach.
  2. Get proper equipment: Invest in weightlifting shoes, a weightlifting belt, and a suitable barbell and plates.
  3. Warm up properly: Start with a proper warm-up to prevent injury and prepare your body for the workout.
  4. Start with light weights: Begin with lighter weights and focus on perfecting your technique before gradually increasing the weight.
  5. Focus on progress, not perfection: Weightlifting is a journey, and progress is more important than perfection. Focus on making small improvements over time.
  6. Train consistently: Incorporate weightlifting into your workout routine consistently and train 2-3 times a week to see progress.
  7. Safety first: Always use proper form and technique and never sacrifice form for weight. Use spotters if needed and never exceed your limits.

Best Olympic Weightlifting Programs

The “best” Olympic weightlifting program depends on your personal goals and current fitness level. Some popular programs include:

  1. Starting Strength: A beginner-friendly program that focuses on building strength through basic movements.
  2. Bulgarian Method: A high-intensity program that emphasizes heavy lifting with fewer reps.
  3. Wendler 5/3/1: A program that focuses on building strength through progressive increases in weight.
  4. Smolov: A high-volume program designed for intermediate to advanced weightlifters to improve their squat.
  5. Juggernaut Method: A program that combines Olympic weightlifting with powerlifting for overall strength and muscle development.

It’s important to consult a coach or professional before starting any weightlifting program to ensure you’re using proper form and technique and to avoid injury.

Beginner Olympic Weightlifting Program

Here is a sample beginner Olympic weightlifting program:

Day 1:

  • Warm up: 5-10 minutes of cardio, dynamic stretching and foam rolling.
  • Snatch: 3 sets of 5 reps with light weight, focusing on technique.
  • Clean and Jerk: 3 sets of 5 reps with light weight, focusing on technique.
  • Accessory work: 3 sets of 8-12 reps for exercises such as squats, deadlifts, lunges, and push press.

Day 2:

  • Warm up: 5-10 minutes of cardio, dynamic stretching and foam rolling.
  • Back Squat: 3 sets of 8 reps with moderate weight.
  • Deadlifts: 3 sets of 8 reps with moderate weight.
  • Accessory work: 3 sets of 8-12 reps for exercises such as pull-ups, chin-ups, and rows.

Repeat the same workout for 3-4 weeks, gradually increasing the weight and reps as you become comfortable with the movements.

As you progress, you can consider adding more exercises and changing the program to match your goals.

It’s also important to work with a weightlifting coach or professional to ensure proper form and technique.

How To Find A Weightlifting Coach

Here are some tips on how to find a weightlifting coach:

  1. Ask for referrals: Ask friends, family, or fellow weightlifters for recommendations of coaches they have trained with and had a positive experience.
  2. Search online: Look for coaches in your area through online directories such as Google, Yelp, and Facebook.
  3. Check with local gyms: Contact local gyms or CrossFit boxes to see if they have a coach who specializes in weightlifting.
  4. Look for certifications: Consider coaches who have certifications such as USA Weightlifting, CrossFit Level 1, or National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).
  5. Schedule a consultation: Schedule a consultation with a few potential coaches to evaluate their coaching style and experience, and to discuss your goals and their approach to training.
  6. Consider the cost: Consider the cost of the coaching services and make sure you can afford it before committing to a coach.

Having an coach can help you develop proper form, technique, and a training plan tailored to your goals, and can also provide motivation, accountability, and support along the way.